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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent nerve-shredder
If you read all the blurb written about this film, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a Japanese ultra-violent "Fatal Attraction" clone. After all the plot is deceptively simple - middle-aged widower looks for new love, holds fake audition, meets girl, girl becomes mysterious, girl gets nasty...
However, "Audition" is a dark masterpiece, drifting effortlessly from...
Published on 9 Sept. 2002 by P. Sanders

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing or something?
I was surprised to read a review of this film that looked upon its structure as `a lot of 'nothing finished of by a disgusting, disjointed ending'. Having seen the film I understand how you could draw such a conclusion but I feel the point of the film has been missed if you simplify such a daring structure into those basic terms. I thought the films strongest point was...
Published on 21 Jun. 2007 by J. M. Ashe


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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent nerve-shredder, 9 Sept. 2002
By 
P. Sanders "prhsuk" (Belfast) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
If you read all the blurb written about this film, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a Japanese ultra-violent "Fatal Attraction" clone. After all the plot is deceptively simple - middle-aged widower looks for new love, holds fake audition, meets girl, girl becomes mysterious, girl gets nasty...
However, "Audition" is a dark masterpiece, drifting effortlessly from romantic melodrama into dizzying dreamscapes and finally skin-crawling horror. What's more, the viewer is left with nothing but sympathy for both the menacing Asami and her hapless suitor.
Okay, the violence. Well, while the last hour or so does become gruelling, a lot of it is actually suggested rather than shown explicitly. What's more there are no sudden shocks and brutal slayings, as in most American horror films. Instead, the viewer is forced to watch, as helpless as Asami's victim, as she explains the result of a childhood of abuse. "Words can create lies," she says. "Only pain can be trusted".
The same is true of the film's depiction of sex. Asami undresses, but refreshingly we see little nudity - maintaining the feeling of shy innocence that surrounds her. Nothing in this astonishing movie has been designed to tittilate. The performances are all top-notch, especially the two leads. The film's protagonist is seen looking for an "obedient" wife, but ultimately he is a lonely man looking for affection, not a sexist brute. And as for Asami herself... well, when her murderous nature is revealed she thankfully does not turn into a hammy, eye-rolling maniac. Rather, she is controlled, almost as demure as before, carefully explaining her plans in her childlike, sing-song voice. As she murmurs "Kiri kiri kiri" (Japanese for "Deeper, deeper..."), it's enough to freeze the blood.
Ultimately, there is no denying that "Audition" is a harrowing descent into real darkness, but if you think you can make the journey it is a stunning and highly rewarding film. Rather than revulsion I was left feeling pity for the main characters. And having seen it several times I find parts of the dream sequences far more disturbing than the much-discussed climax (especially the scene with the sack... you'll see).
Good luck.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars chameleon, 23 Feb. 2004
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This film is gorey, twisted and twisting, but the reason I liked it was the way it merges from one film genre into another. It starts out as a 'slow paced' western style rom-com complete with lonely single dad looking for a new woman in his life. (For the first 10 mins I thought I was watching the wrong film!) but as soon as the new girl arrives on the scene things begin to have a sinister edge. From rom-com to thriller. I was all set up to watch a horror then got lulled into a touching family drama - I was jumping at things that I normally wouldn't have, and the mystery kicks in - who is she? where does she come from etc?
Then things go crazy, the narrative jumps around between past, present, reality and fantasy until all you know for certain is that things are going to end up messy! From rom-com to thriller, from thriller to Lynchian surrealism and from the surreal to the horrific, this film envelopes genres and spits them back out.
I think, the pace is relative to the genre it has adopted at the time, therefore never too slow or too fast.
I'm a wuss and was petrified of this film. But despite hating watching it, I still think its worth 4 out of 5.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting, Excellent and Upsetting, 17 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Audition is typical of modern Japanese horror - the film starts off deceptively slowly, the viewer being given a long time to get used to and empathise with the main characters, then everything changes and a fast descent into hell begins.
For Audition, the theme is summarised in an early scene - the female protagonist declaring that 'life is but another way of reaching death'. The final scenes of the film are truly distressing and difficult to watch - torture sequences that are downright horrific.
An excellent study into human nature and its often darker extremes, Audition is aimed at mature audiences, a million miles from the 'popcorn slasher' flicks of teen US horror films such as Scream. Watch it, immerse yourself and be afraid!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it for the fantastic suspense, not the gore, 7 Jan. 2007
Having read a lot of the reviews on Amazon before watching Audition (being careful not to read any spoilers that is!), I, as I always do with any horror or thriller/drama movie, tried to sit down without any prior knowledge of the movie. That being said, if you know enough about this movie just to know that it exists, you're probably already aware of some controversial torture scenes in it.

Even knowing this however, I was more than prepared to sit down to this film uneducated and in that form, I was very impressed with Audition. In the first 45 minutes or so, I actually found this to be quite a sad film what with the death of the lead character Aoyama's wife and his, nicely acted out, portrayal of loneliness. Now I understand this is supposed to be a thriller/horror movie and my review so far gives quite the opposite impression but I feel that the mood this movie managed to send me into during it's opening hour or so was a great move by the director.

Knowing that Aoyama only concocted his plan through desperation and a bit of a shove from his auditioning friend made me all the more worried for him. As he falls deeper into the killer Asami's trap, the film gets increasingly uncomfortable. The viewer knows that the violence will happen; it's just a matter of when and how bad it'll be. And that's the main talking point--I didn't find the violence in this film all that bad. Certainly Saw 1 seemed a bit more disturbing and the role of the disturbed Asami was played so well here that I felt quite sorry for her; her motives (she was a victim of childhood abuse and had constantly been used by men) made some of her actions almost acceptable! That and the fact she's a damn sight prettier than the jigsaw killer!

At the end of the day, you certainly shouldn't watch this movie waiting for gore as not only do I find that aspect over hyped, but there's so much more to this great piece of work; terrific acting, a really engrossing plot and some terrific psychological elements. Five out of five for me but I think a 3 for unappreciative movie fans who'd rather be munching popcorn whilst watching Cabin Fever or Jeepers Creepers.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Miike's masterpieces, 26 Aug. 2006
By 
Mr. A. Anson "Lexifer Crowley" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
For anyone who's not yet heard of Takashi Miike, here's a little background. He directs about 5 films a year and still finds time to appear as an actor in others. He regularly gets performances from actors and actresses (or, sometimes, people with no acting knowledge, experience or anything else - he'll put someone into a film because of the chemistry he knows they'll bring in, sometimes) that are well above-par. He's famous for the violence and rampant insanity in his films - though some of his best work is stuff that manages to avoid descending into violent chaos.

This is one such film. If I had my way the DVD packaging would have no pictures on it at all: just a big, black front cover declaring "Audition," "Directed by Takashi Miike" and maybe some of those review scores like we've got here. Seriously, you really don't need to know anything about the plot before watching it.

Back to the acting - y'know how awful it nearly always is when models try to act? The leading lady in this particular film is a model, and she's absolutely fantastic. It's impossible to imagine anyone playing the role of Asami better than she does. That said, the whole cast are fantastic.

This film's... Well, I don't really wanna talk much more about it. But if you've got a fully functional brain and some appreciation for really great, deep filmmaking I'd highly recommend you give this film a chance.

Other Miike films I'd highly recommend you check out are:

Ichi The Killer (unrated/uncut version, available here on Amazon I believe - the Violence Is Golden film)

The Happiness Of The Katakuris (an absolutely brilliant musical)

Rainy Dog (second film in the Black Society Trilogy and quite possibly the best)

Visitor Q (THIS is the one for people after something a little sick. It's also rather good, in an odd way.)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Clever and Original, 10 Feb. 2006
I think this movie is good for one main reason, it seperates itself from all other horror movies made because of its sheer originality and inventive plot twists (or one in particular) what starts as simple melodrama about a simple man looking for a new wife, turns into a horror masterpiece. This achieved through the clever editing and the slow build up of suspense resulting in the final scenes, which are among some of the best pieces of horror flmaking ever made. Think about the worst torture your body could suffer and your probably still 100 miles from audition, a true surreal horror masterpiece. Though i must say it is not for the faint hearted, but even if you don't like horror i still think most people will be impressed with how cleverly this has been made.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lasting Impression, 5 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The thing that struck me most about Audition was the way I felt after the film had finished. Maybe it was just because I watched it alone, in the dark, isolated from everything else through a big ass pair of headphones....but when I turned it off, I felt like I'd woken up from a nightmare. Thats the kind of impression it leaves on you...
The film actually starts off reasonably slowly, but not in a boring way...more intriguing. The acting is very realistic and the relationship between The father, his son, and Asami, when she comes into the picture, is very convincing. As Aoyama and Asami spend more time together, its easy for the viewer to see that Aoyama's vison is blurred and he can't see what he's getting himself into, its no surprise when Asami disappears.
The remaining part of the film leaves you wanting it to end, but your wanting to see the conclusion which puts you in a situation where you can't get out of watching the horror.
Granted...there is no REAL conclusion to the film, but I was satisfied with the ending...even slightly upset. A terrific horror movie, absolutely nothing like anything from the Western world!
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An antidote to Hollywood horror films, 26 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Audition is one of the few horror films I have seen that is genuinely shocking and very creepy. Oddly enough it starts out as a slightly black romantic comedy. The relationship between the producer and the girl he chooses is tenderly and acutely observed. However about halfway through the film it changes from a romantic comedy to a deeply unsettling horror story. The first half allows you to identify with the main characters, which makes the second half far more disturbing.
In comparison to other recent horror films like Scream, the film eschews post modern self-referential humor, monsters and the other tacky elements that Hollywood horror films rely on. Instead it emphases the psychological and as a result is one of the scariest horror flicks I've seen.
However a word of warning; the climactic scenes of the film are deeply unpleasant; the violence is realistic and quite creative. Do not watch this film if you are easily shocked. I went with a friend of mine to see it in the cinema, and upon leaving he looked a rather unattractive shade of green.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing or something?, 21 Jun. 2007
By 
J. M. Ashe "Jo3" (sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was surprised to read a review of this film that looked upon its structure as `a lot of 'nothing finished of by a disgusting, disjointed ending'. Having seen the film I understand how you could draw such a conclusion but I feel the point of the film has been missed if you simplify such a daring structure into those basic terms. I thought the films strongest point was its brave sense of patience. The audience is not treated to a conventionally timed, sequence of frequent scare tactics, but more lulled into a state of dark anticipation. The story of a lonely man courting a woman he meets through a staged audition is initially devoid of solid horror elements, but there is an underlying menace to the chosen auditioned women that develops into a state of dread as the audience learn more about her. You the viewer, a long with the main character, are slowly lowered into a nightmare as the auditioned females dark side becomes more apparent, the slowly building tension and dread eventually culminating in an unsettling, extremely horrific climax. Yes the ending is disgusting, but I think it is important that the film goes as far as it does to finalize the metamorphosis of the female characters from odd, silent, shy girl into an almost inhuman monster capable of unspeakable cruelty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OMG - The Most Disturbing Film of All Time, 23 July 2014
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I must have watched hundreds if not thousands of movies over the last 40 odd years, including very many horror films. On only one occasion have I found a film so disturbing, upsetting, and frankly unpalatable, that I've had to walk out of the room, and that happened while I was watching this. With Audition, I was shocked, stunned, sickened.
If you have watched "challenging" films like Frontiers and Martyrs, they won't prepare you for this. Aoyama is a lonely middle aged chap after the death of his wife.
He comes up with a ruse to find a pretty young girlfriend, he'll pretend to be a film director and audition actresses for a part in the pretend movie, with the hope of meeting somebody who will go out with him.
He meets Asami, a beautiful, softly spoken and mild mannered lady, who is a ballet dancer.
The first hour of the movie then plays out with the sweet burgeoning romance between the two main characters. Aoyama's friends have their reservations about Asami and try to warn off their friend, but to no avail. Asami proves to be an erratic and unpredictable young girl, hiding a big set of (metaphorically speaking) fangs behind her winsome smile and coquettishness. What happens in the first hour simply doesn't prepare you for the brutality and horrors of the last half hour.
The relationship between the two fractures and Asami doesn't respond too well (that's a monumental understatement). Think of the bunny boiler scene in Fatal Attraction, and then multiply it by a hundred. They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, well, Hell certainly has no fury like Asami. Put simply, she traps and tortures Aoyamo.
I found myself, quite literally, covering my eyes, looking up at the ceiling, writhing, and then finally leaving the room. Suffice it to say, Asami makes very cruel use of a syringe and a cheese wire.
The director, Takashe Miike, is clearly a very gifted director, who gets a haunting performance out of Asami, but I think some of the movie crossed the line into the sort of territory which the film classification board ought to be prohibiting. I've watched a lot of the 1980's "video nasties", including The Evil Dead, SS Experiment Camp, and I Spit On Your Grave, but those works are like an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine compared to this film. The closing 15 minute sequence is utterly gruesome, and has the most graphic and disturbing imagery.
Obviously, in real life, only a certain deranged type of person can do the most gruesome things to another human being (remember what Lorena Bobbitt did to John Wayne Bobbitt's manhood?), which means that the denouement to this film is hardly beyond the realms of possibility. This actually makes watching the film even more uncomfortable, because you know that this sort of thing can and does happen in real life.
Audition is a must see for any horror aficionado, but just make sure to have a stiff drink beforehand, and a sick-bag within easy reach. This film tests the limit for what a viewer can tolerate, and it does make you seriously wonder just how nasty a movie would need to be, in order to be banned by the film censors. You have been duly warned!
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Audition [Blu-ray] [1999] [US Import]
Audition [Blu-ray] [1999] [US Import] by Takashi Miike (Blu-ray - 2009)
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